Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who became a Religious Right hero last year when she tried to stop issuing marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, told an American Family Radio host that she was chosen by God to fight gay marriage.
On Friday, American Family Radio host and American Family Association official Sandy Rios broadcast an interview that she had conducted with Davis, in which she lavished praise on Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "It's interesting to me how God chose you," Rios said. "Not a Sunday school teacher, not a Republican, not the standard — this is like God, this is so like God, so he chose you."
Davis said that she considered it "a joy to be chosen, to make a stand and to defend my God's word, the infallible word of God."
"You were chosen, Kim," Rios agreed. "I know that. God picked you, plucked you out."
On Tuesday, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association denounced the nomination of Wilhelmina Wright for a seat on the federal district court in Minnesota, urging Senate Republicans to not only oppose Wright but also to block every single one of President Obama’s remaining judicial nominees.
The Senate confirmed Wright’s nomination yesterday, angering Rios, who invited right-wing activist Phillip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group on to her radio show this morning to talk about the importance of judicial nominations.
Rios told Jauregui that the Senate must stop even holding a vote for President Obama’s judicial nominees because “when you put judges on the court who do not respect the Constitution or are not really loyal to American values as expressed in the Constitution, there is no justice.”
The two moved on to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case on the legality of Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which Rios found “tremendously concerning because that court is out of control itself and is not delivering justice, they’re delivering their own personal opinions.”
She cited the Obergefell decision, which struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, as one such ruling, saying she was “just devastated” upon hearing about the “absolutely irrational” decision. “It made no sense whatsoever and I don’t trust them anymore,” she said.
Jauregui, criticizing Justice Kennedy’s “horrendous” opinion in Obergefell, said that the justice is “horrible and he’s honestly a judge that ought to be impeached”
Later, Jauregui claimed that members of Congress would never block the president’s executive actions, giving him a reason to issue further ones of questionable legality. “This is not far from an imperial dictator we’re talking about,” he said.
Rios urged congressional Republicans to “find their spine” and stop spending time hating on Ted Cruz.
Jennifer Roback Morse, the head of the Ruth Institute, an organization formerly affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage, was not pleased that President Obama discussed gay rights in his State of the Union address last week, saying that while Obama talked about the courage it takes for a young person to come out to his or her parents, that “does not require as much courage” as choosing to “walk away from the gay lifestyle.”
Obama “talked about the courage required for a young guy to come out to his parents,” she said in an interview with the “Issues, Etc.” podcast on Thursday, “completely omitting the fact that right now coming out does not require as much courage as is required by a person who says, ‘You know, I feel same-sex attraction, but what I want to do is not act on it, what I want to do is live up to my church’s teachings, what I want to do is walk away from the gay lifestyle that I’ve been living, that’s what I want to do.’ Now, that person, that takes a lot of courage to talk like that in today’s world, but Obama didn’t mention any of those people.”
The president’s mention of parents changing their previous beliefs to embrace gay children, she added, was “tacitly putting every adult in America, every Christian in America, every Lutheran, every serious Jewish person, at war between their religious beliefs and their love for their children.”
“Well, our religion teaches that if you love somebody, you have to live in the truth with respect to them and you have to help present them the truth,” she said. “You aren’t doing anybody any favors by accommodating their desires even if their desires are not necessarily good for them.”
Morse was also outraged that the president invited Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide last year, to the State of the Union. Morse appeared to be unfamiliar with Obergefell’s story — he and his partner of 20 years got married in a plane on an airport tarmac in Maryland shortly before his partner died of ALS — suggesting that Obergefell’s marriage wouldn’t last.
“Well, he’s trying to say, obviously he’s trying to treat Obergefell as a hero, as a Rosa Parks type figure or something like that,” she said of the president. “I would have been more impressed if he could have invited the Goodridges [the plaintiffs in the landmark 2003 Massachusetts marriage equality ruling] … but the Goodridges are no longer married to one another. So it will be interesting to see if Mr. Obergefell remains married to his true love there for whom we redefined marriage for the entire country.”
But included in the list of Cruz endorsers are Schlafly’s niece and heir apparent, Anne Cori, as well as 19 other Eagle Forum leaders from 11 states.
Schlafly founded Eagle Forum in 1972 as part of her effort to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. Since then, she has expanded the organization’s focus to include not just fighting “radical feminists” and their “feminist goals of stereotyping men as a constant danger to women,” but also to opposing gay rights, immigration, U.S. involvement with the United Nations, and national curriculum standards.
The best-known Eagle Forum activist on the latest list of Cruz endorsers is Cathie Adams, a former chairwoman of the Texas GOP and longtime leader of the state’s Eagle Forum chapter, who has a record of extremism that will make her fit right in with her fellow Cruz endorsers.
“Texas’ laws should be aligned with nature and nature’s God, thus protecting children from the unnatural and unhealthy lifestyles of homosexuality and bisexuality,” she wrote to members of Texas Eagle Forum in 2003. When pro-choice protesters filled the Texas capitol in 2013, she called them “feminazis” and “stinky stalking feminists.”
Adams share’s Eagle Forum’s nativist priorities, defending abstinence-only education by blaming teen pregnancy rates on Mexican immigrants with inferior “morals,” opposing the Children’s Health Insurance Program because it might benefit “illegal aliens,” and warning that the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill would lead to the biblical Mark of the Beast through biometric scanning and bring about the End Times. She once argued that anti-tax activist Grover Norquist was secretly a Muslim and working for the Muslim Brotherhood, as evidenced by the fact that “he has a beard.”
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins delivered his second annual “State of the Family Address” at his organization’s offices yesterday, a pompous affair to which he invited various supposed victims of American anti-Christian persecution, like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and his fellow Religious Right leaders.
Perkins, the self-appointed president of American families, faulted President Obama for talking about the importance of fatherhood while simultaneously supporting same-sex marriage, which he called an “incoherent, ideological campaign” that is leading to “havoc in our homes and blood in our streets.”
“The promise of strong efforts these past seven years to restore fatherhood and reestablish family life in our poorest communities has faded completely,” he said. “Instead, national policies have sown confusion about the very definition of family. President Obama has extolled the virtues of fatherhood even as he has fought for same-sex marriage, in essence saying two same-gendered person can parent as well as a mom and a dad. This contradictory message is more than disappointing. For our children throughout the country, it is devastating. It reduces mothers and fathers to genderless caregivers. Our children deserve better: They deserve a mom and a dad.”
“And we pay a price for this incoherent, ideological campaign by havoc in our homes and blood in our streets,” he added. “That’s why we have to re-empower American parents. The decision of our courts on contraception for minors, abortion on demand and redefining marriage have gravely weakened the family.”
In a rambling interview with a Catholic news network over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson derided marriage equality and protections for transgender people as “extra rights” for “a few people who perhaps are abnormal,” warning that if the next president’s Supreme Court nominees protect LGBT rights, you can “say goodbye to America.”
Carson made the comments in an interview with the Witherspoon Institute’s Matthew Franck as part of a series of conversations with presidential candidates on the Catholic network EWTN.
When Franck asked Carson about Department of Education efforts to protect the rights of transgender students in schools, Carson launched into a discussion of how “political correctness” and “extra rights” are ruining America.
“You see how silly this is,” he said. “I mean, it’s beyond ridiculous that you take the most abnormal situation and then you make everyone else conform to it. That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. That’s one of the very reasons that I have been an outspoken opponent of things like gay marriage. I don’t have any problem with gay people doing anything they want to do. You know, it’s a free country, there’s freedom of association. However, when you now impose your value system on everybody else and change fundamental definitions and principles of society, I have a big problem with that. Everybody is equal, everybody has equal rights, but nobody gets extra rights. And when we start trying to impose the extra rights based on a few people who perhaps are abnormal, where does that lead?”
After warning that gay marriage could lead to legalized polygamy and railing against “garbage” arguments for transgender rights, Carson said, “We are absolutely destroying ourselves because we are paying attention to political correctness.”
“Our time is running out,” he added. “If we don’t stand up for principles now and we get a progressive and they get two or three Supreme Court picks, say goodbye to America.”
Today, Cruz can add another name to his long list of anti-gay endorsers: Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who as a columnist and host of a conservative radio show spreads some of the most extreme anti-gay rhetoric in the country.
Harvey announced her support for Cruz in a joint press release with a number of Ohio conservatives, including Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values and Molly Smith of Cleveland Right to Life. The release directs supporters to the website of Keep The Promise, a pro-Cruz Super PAC led by Religious Right activist David Barton, but the endorsements have not been promoted by the PAC or the Cruz campaign, at least not yet.
Perhaps Harvey thinks that Cruz will be the president she has longed for who will issue “an Emancipation Proclamation … to free America from the tyranny of sodomy.”
Rick Santorum came up with another creative way to illustrate his opposition to marriage equality yesterday, telling Iowa radio host Simon Conway that allowing states to expand marriage to same-sex couples is like saying “the states have the right to redefine the chemical equation for water, it can be H3O instead of H2O.”
When Conway asked Santorum about Sen. Ted Cruz’s recent remarks about the need for conservatives to unify around one presidential candidate (him), Santorum took a dig at Cruz, implying that the Texas senator is a “libertarian” for wanting to return the decision about marriage equality to the states.
“Look, I’m very proud of the conservative record I’ve put together,” he said. “There’s no one who’s fought more on moral and cultural issues. I’m not a libertarian. There are people in this race that want the states to decide whether there should be same-sex marriage or polygamy or marijuana use. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that the states have the right to redefine something that’s not capable of redefining.
“For me, when you say the states have the right to define marriage, it’s like saying, well, the states have the right to redefine the chemical equation for water, it can be H3O instead of H2O. Well, the states can’t do that. Why? Because nature dictates what water is, nature dictates what marriage is, and the states don’t have the right to violate what nature has dictated.”
Back in November, Ben Carson appeared on “Kingdom Connection with Jentezen Franklin,” to discuss how the U.S. Constitution “was written at an eighth-grade level” so “that the American people could understand it.”
However, Carson said that “the people who claim they are constitutional scholars,” like justices on the Supreme Court, are making a “mess” because, he alleged, they haven’t read the Constitution.
The Republican presidential candidate alleged that gay rights advocates want to classify certain speech as “hate speech,” claiming that they use “hate speech ridicule” to silence others and don’t believe in “live and let live.”
The way it works now is they target you and they have all kind of hate speech ridicule, if there’s a way they can bring action against you they will do that, try to ruin your life. Look at all the people who because of their religious convictions and their belief in what the Bible says have lost their livelihood and they’re put in jeopardy over the gay marriage issue, when in fact this is supposed to be a country where you live and let live. I personally don’t have any problem with any two people, regardless of what their feelings are, of living together, of getting a lawyer to create some documents so they can share property and have hospital visitation rights, but to change the definition of marriage, the problem is once you do that for one group, why wouldn’t you have to do that for the next group?
“Everybody gets equal rights, but nobody gets extra rights, extra rights to change everything for everybody else to suit them,” he added.
Carson went on to warn that “the secular-progressive movement” is bent on “beating people down so that they are silent” and having them “sit down and shut up so they can drive the boat.” If evangelical Christians don’t “stand up,” Carson warned, “it’s going to be too late.”
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is winning plaudits from Religious Right groups after he issued an administrative order directing probate judges in his state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore was an anti-gay activist in his own right before returning to the court in 2013, founding the far-right Foundation for Moral Law, which has published yesterday’s order on its website.
Moore told the far-right site WorldNetDaily that the Obergefell case provides “a wonderful time to teach the people of our country about states’ rights,” explaining that his order reflects the fact that “states do have powers.”
Already, Moore is winning support from those who called on state and local officials, such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, to defy the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling.
This Order is both courageous and very well-reasoned. We need more federal and state officers like Chief Justice Moore who understand that the job of the Federal Judiciary is not to legislate from the bench, but rather to simply decide disputes between parties consistent with the text of the Constitution. Judicial opinions, like Obergefell v. Hodges, that purport to set policy for all of America are simply not supported by the Constitutional grant of powers given to the Judiciary.
Thank God for Chief Justice Moore! Please keep him, his family, and his staff in your prayers!
“I applaud Chief Justice Roy Moore for this order reaffirming the marriage law in Alabama,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Alabama Supreme Court issued an order in March 2015 barring probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses after a federal court in January of last year overturned Alabama's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman,” Staver explained. “In Alabama and across America, state judiciaries and legislatures are standing up against the federal judiciary or anyone else who wants to come up with some cockeyed view that somehow the Constitution now births some newfound notion of same-sex marriage."
“The opinion of five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage is lawless and without legal or historical support," Staver concluded.
These legal developments are consistent with the developing resistance in America to the Supreme Court's attempt to legislate from the bench when it comes to marriage, ignoring the federal constitution in the process and inventing out of thin air a "right" to same-sex 'marriage.'
The American people reject judicial activism of the US Supreme Court and their attempt to redefine marriage. They continue to support marriage as it has existed throughout our nation's history, the union of one man and one woman.
Sanctity of Marriage Alabama applauds Chief Justice Roy Moore for doing his job and clarifying what is, in fact, the current law in Alabama. Chief Justice Moore has a constitutional duty (see Ala. Code 12-2-30) as head of the judicial system to "[take affirmative action to correct any] situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state." He has done this today. We expect that the associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court will once again follow the line of duty before God and the Constitutions of the United States and Alabama as they did back in March."
Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio:
Judge Moore the only one upholding Constitution, which reserves marriage to the states. Civil obedience, not disobedience.
Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is trying to stoke yet another fight with the federal judiciary over marriage equality.
Moore, a Republican with a harsh anti-gay record, was elected to serve as chief justice in 2012 after being removed from that same office in 2003 for defying a federal court ruling on his installation of a Ten Commandments monument in the courthouse rotunda.
Early last year, Moore similarlychallenged a federal court’s ruling striking down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, cementing his status as a Religious Right hero and martyr.
It appears that he is not backing down from that fight, as today Moore released an administrative order, provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, claiming that probate judges must abide by a state law barring same-sex marriage, despite the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling.
Confusion and uncertainty exist among the probate judges of this State as to the effect of Obergefell on the "existing orders" in API. Many probate judges are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in accordance with Obergefell; others are issuing marriage licenses only to couples of the opposite gender or have ceased issuing all marriage licenses. This disparity affects the administration of justice in this State.
Yet the fact remains that the administration of justice in the State of Alabama has been adversely affected by the apparent conflict between the decision of the Alabama Supreme Court in API and the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell.
IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED THAT:
Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.
The Foundation for Moral Law, which Moore founded and is currently led by his wife, Kayla Moore, also called on states to defy Obergefell and said it was “determined” to fight the decision in Alabama.
In a statement from his wife in June, which Moore shared on his Facebook page, the group said Obergefell was invalid and illegitimate: “Not only does the U.S. Supreme Court have no legal authority to redefine marriage, but also at least 2 members of the Court’s majority opinion were under a legal duty to recuse and refrain from voting. Their failure to recuse calls into question the validity of this decision.”
Elsewhere, Republican lawmakers in several states are trying to nullify Obergefell.
GOP legislators in Michigan and Tennessee are attempting to pass legislation negating the ruling in their states, and the Spartanburg Herald Journal reported yesterday on two Republican legislators in South Carolina who want to see the state challenge the marriage equality ruling:
Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Woodruff, and Rep. Mike Burns, R-Taylors, pre-filed a bill in the House to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He also aims for his bill to invalidate same-sex marriages in South Carolina. The bill is titled as the South Carolina Natural Marriage Defense Act.
"I represent the people, and the people have shown several times that they are opposed to this, and are in favor of traditional marriage," Chumley said.
The Supreme Court ruling in June legalizing same-sex marriage came down to a 5 to 4 vote, Chumley said. He said the split vote was indicative of the views of all Americans.
"Apparently, those four people believe like we do," he said. "I do believe that something that's a close vote like that sends a message, it's not cut and dry."
HB 2024 would forbid the state from using its resources to implement any presidential executive order unless it had been approved by Congress and found to be constitutional. Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, said he crafted it even before President Obama announced on Tuesday he is taking executive action to redefine who is a gun dealer and subject to requirements to do background checks.
But HB 2024 also would extend the same language to decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Finchem said that, absent congressional action, there is no reason that Arizona should have to do anything — or use state resources — to comply with court rulings.
In fact, Finchem told Capitol Media Services it’s wrong to even call what comes from the high court a “ruling.” And he derided the idea that the justices created “case law.”
“It’s not law at all,” he said.
“It’s case opinion and past practice, past application,” continued Finchem who got seven other Republicans to sign on as co-sponsors of the measure. And he said that it really is just the opinion of the majority of justices in a given case.
“The court can pass an opinion all day long,” he said. “But until that opinion goes back to Congress and becomes an enactment, and is signed into law, a statute, by the president, it’s not operable.”
One ruling in that category is the decision by the justices that states cannot deny the right to wed to same-sex couples. The net effect was to tell states that if they issue marriage licenses they have to make them available to all couples regardless of sexual orientation.
Finchem said he sees no reason why the justices, on their own, can force that on states. He said civil marriage is essentially a creation of the Internal Revenue Service on the premise the taxing agency needed to know who was entitled to certain benefits.
“If the federal government wants to issue a gay marriage license, they’re free to do that,” Finchem said. “But it’s not a state license.”
More to the point, he said the federal government — and a federal court — cannot force the state to do something when it’s contrary to the state’s own constitution.
At an Iowa campaign stop with influential Religious Right activist James Dobson yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz warned that people of faith have consented to “allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders,” and now a “secular agenda” bent on doing away with the Ten Commandments and stifling religious liberty is on the rise.
He also repeated his assertion that Republicans lost the last two presidential elections because millions of evangelicals stayed at home. “I believe the key to winning in 2016 is very simple,” he said. “We have to bring back to the polls the millions of conservatives who stayed home, we have to awaken and energize the body of Christ.”
“You know,” he said, “we look at our federal government now, and we have a federal government that is waging a war on life, a war on marriage, a war on religious liberty. We have a federal government that is advancing a secular agenda that puts the ability of Bible-believing Christians to live our faith more and more in jeopardy and that is appeasing radical Islamic terrorism, in fact refuses even to acknowledge its name. And if you look at the federal government, you might say, ‘Why do we have government attacking life, attacking marriage, attacking faith, attacking religious liberty?’ Well, is it any wonder, when a majority of believers are staying home? If we allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders, we shouldn’t be surprised when our government doesn’t reflect our values.”
Cruz also doubled down on his criticism of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling , calling both it and the King v. Burwell ruling preserving the Affordable Care Act “fundamentally illegitimate” and “lawless.” He warned that if Hillary Clinton were to become president, the Supreme Court would “tear down our constitutional liberties fundamentally” by ruling against Ten Commandments monuments on public grounds and reversing the Heller decision, which found an individual right to bear arms. (When Cruz said that this meant “the government can make it a felony for you to own a firearm and protect your family,” an audience member yelled out, “Come and take it!”)
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council who recently endorsed Cruz, also said he was very impressed by the candidate’s wife, Heidi Cruz, saying that “there has never in American history been a pro-life first lady” and that with her we “have a chance to get one this time.”
The Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts recorded the event. Cruz and Dobson discuss prayer about 2 minutes into the video; the “missing” evangelical vote about 6 minutes in; the Supreme court around 13 minutes in; and Heidi Cruz about 24 minutes in.
She told Markell that God is sending “wake-up calls” to America to get people’s attention: “That’s why he allows the terrorists to strike or a tornado to rip through our city because, for whatever reason, we don’t seem to give him our attention until we’re desperate, and so if we don’t give him our attention, then he’s going to allow things to happen to make us more and more desperate until we do cry out.”
However, Lotz said that God is about to run out of patience with the U.S. and may soon remove “the restraints so that evil comes in like a flood.” One of the signs that God has allowed evil to flood into America, Lotz said, was the recent Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.
“The Enemy has come in like a flood and that’s one of his tactics,” she said of the court’s ruling, “to hit us at every level, every angle so that we feel overwhelmed.”
You cannot change God’s institution of marriage, so what they’re asking is to join an institution that by its very definition they can’t join. So if the Supreme Court changes that legally in America, they are very seriously defying God. I think there are three reasons we could pass that tipping point. One is that reason, the second is abandoning Israel and the third one is the abortion, aborting babies for convenience. Women can scream and holler about that and say they don’t do that, but the statistics show that they do, they use it for birth control. Those three reasons alone would demand that God judge America.”
In an interview with the Catholic TV network EWTN earlier this month, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who spent a few nights in jail in September when she attempted to stop her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, warned that she was “just the first of what’s going to be very many.”
“The stand I took affects every church, every person that lives and loves God, that holds the word of God precious and dear and intimate in their lives,” Davis told EWTN’s Catherine Szeltner in an interview broadcast on December 17. “I’m just the first of what’s going to be very many. You can rest assured of that. And it’s not if it happens, it’ll be when it happens. And maybe my stand will encourage others who will be in the same position.”
Szeltner reported that Davis told her that her time in jail was a “joyful and peaceful time” and that she “knows that it is a possibility” she’ll return.
Davis was imprisoned by U.S. Marshals after defying repeated court orders to allow her government office to start issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges struck down state same-sex marriage bans. She was released when her deputies began issuing licenses . Contrary to Davis’ statements to EWTN, Obergefell does not impede the ability of churches to choose whom they will and will not marry.
Davis also recounted to Szeltner her meeting with Pope Francis, the importance of which has been a matter of public dispute between Davis’ attorneys at Liberty Counsel and Vatican officials.
In an interview with conservative Iowa radio host Simon Conway yesterday, Santorum said that Vander Plaats, who heads the group The Family Leader, was “settling” with his pick of Cruz, citing Cruz’s efforts to allow states to ban same-sex marriage rather than controlling marriage on the federal level.
“Look, I understand it,” Santorum said. “Ted’s a fine guy and has really been a scrapper in Washington. I think what Mike and I both feel is that when it comes to the issues that are near and dear to The Family Leader, the family issues, marriage in particular, I think we need a stronger voice, a more principled voice that understands there’s a higher law there that we have to abide by and just because a state wants to do something doesn’t mean a state should be able to.”
This prompted Conway and Santorum to launch into an extended debate about the role of government in marriage, which Conway argued the government should have nothing to do with at all.
Santorum disagreed, saying that the government has a responsibility to ensure the “continuity” of culture, citing low birth rates among native Europeans — the unspoken subtext of which is that low birth rates necessitate greater immigration. “If you look at Europe … they’re decrying the fact that Europe is barren,” he said, "they’re not having children, and the people who are having children are not Europeans, or native Europeans, so you’ve got some really big problems and it’s beginning to occur in this country.”
He added that laws governing marriage also serve to “encourage people to behave the right way” when “fidelity, monogamy are not a natural thing” but “are learned behaviors.”
In an interview with the Catholic news network EWTN broadcast on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that, if elected, he would ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor and enforce the parts of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that the court found unconstitutional. Santorum also said that he would attempt to undermine the court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade by considering fetuses to be “persons” under the law.
Santorum made the remarks as part of a series of conversations EWTN is running between influential social conservative thinker and activist Robert George and presidential candidates. George previously pressed TedCruz and Mike Huckabee to commit to positions undermining the Supreme Court on marriage equality and abortion rights.
Matthew Franck, a colleague of George’s at the Witherspoon Institute who was filling in for him, asked Santorum how, as president, he would treat the Supreme Court’s Obergefell marriage equality ruling. Santorum responded that while there is little a president can do to defy Obergefell, which affected state laws, he “would confront the court” on its DOMA decision and say “this was a decision that was extraconstitutional, that law is good, valid law and I would enforce that law.”
Before the Supreme Court struck down parts of DOMA, President Obama continued to enforce the law but refused to defend it in court, saying that it was unconstitutional. At the time, Santorum called Obama’s move a “power grab” and said that deciding the law’s constitutionality was the “province of the Supreme Court.”
Franck also asked Santorum about the anti-choice “personhood” strategy, which proposes that Congress make an end-run around Roe v. Wade by declaring fetuses and zygotes to be “persons” with full protections under the 14th Amendment.
Santorum, who has previously pledged to back “personhood” legislation, didn’t discuss the logistics of such a move, but said that the president has an “obligation to push back on a court that got it wrong.”
Ted Cruz has been racking up support from Religious Right leaders, and even touting endorsementsfromthemovement’smostextremeactivists. One of the first Religious Right groups to endorse Cruz was the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which hailed Cruz as “a proven champion for marriage and religious freedom and someone we can absolutely count on to fight to restore marriage to our nation’s laws.” In return, Cruz called NOM “a critical voice in protecting our rights.”
The Texas senator also joined Rick Santorum, Ben Carson and then-presidential candidate Bobby Jindal in signing the group’s presidential pledge, vowing to work towards banning same-sex marriage, to order government offices to “restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman” and “prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.”
NOM and other anti-gay groups may then be taken aback by what Cruz said at a Manhattan fundraiser where, in an audio recording provided to Politico, the GOP candidate assured one donor who said he disagreed with the senator’s stance on marriage equality that he wouldn’t make opposition to gay marriage a priority in his administration.
Of course, Cruz has been singing a very different tune on the campaign trail, where he has treated marriage equality as nothing short of a national emergency.
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is activelycourting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
Here at Right Wing Watch, we listen to hours of video and audio each day in order to find the short clips that we share with our readers. It’s been a doozy of a year, in which presidential politics has collided with the farthest of the far right, and here at Right Wing Watch, we’ve had the dubious pleasure of witnessing it all. It’s hard to pick our favorite/most horrifying memories of the year, so instead we’ve looked back at the 10 most watched videos and most listened-to audio clips of the year.
10. Sandy Rios Investigates The Amtrak Crash
Days after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight and injuring hundreds, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios pointed out “an interesting part of the story” that was likely “a factor” in the crash: the conductor’s homosexuality.
June was not a happy month for anti-gay activists, as exemplified by Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, who days before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision warned that gay marriage was a satanic plot to destroy Christianity and may very well bring God’s judgment on America.
Televangelist Pat Robertson is not always quite on point with the advice he gives to viewers of “The 700 Club” at the end of every program, such as when he told a bereaved mother who had just lost a young child that the child could have turned out to be the next Hitler .
4. The Gay ‘Jihad’
Ted Cruz went there during a campaign event in Iowa in April.
3. Rick Perry’s ‘Accident’
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a very ill-timed “oops” moment when he called the mass shooting at a church in Charleston an “accident,” in the process of claiming that the crime was the result of drugs rather than guns.
2. Phil Robertson’s Imagination
Back in March, controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson tried to make a convoluted point about atheists supposedly having no moral code by telling a gruesome hypothetical story about a family of atheists getting raped and murdered.
1. Rick Scarborough’s Martyrdom
Nobody took the hysteria over the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision quite as far as Rick Scarborough, who declared a few days before the court handed down its decision that he was ready to burn to death in his fight against gay marriage.